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J Neurochem. 1984 Aug;43(2):560-9.

Monitoring the stimulated release of dopamine with in vivo voltammetry. I: Characterization of the response observed in the caudate nucleus of the rat.


Microvoltammetric electrodes were employed in the brain of an anesthetized rat to monitor chemical substances in extracellular fluid following electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle. An increase in concentration of an easily oxidized substance is observed in the caudate nucleus and in the nucleus accumbens. A large amount of evidence suggests that the substance that is observed following stimulation is dopamine. (1) The location of the stimulating electrode must be in known dopaminergic tracts to induce release. (2) Release is most easily observed in brain regions that contain significant numbers of dopamine-containing neurons. (3) Two voltammetric electrodes with very different electrochemical responses provide voltammograms of the released species that are unique for catechols in one case and catecholamines in another case. (4) The amount of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid found in striatal tissue by postmortem analysis correlates with the calculated amount of dopamine released. (5) Inhibition of tyrosine hydroxylase, and thus dopamine synthesis, decreases the observed release while inhibition of monoamine oxidase, and thus formation of dopamine metabolites, does not. (6) The dependence of release on stimulation parameters agrees with results obtained with perfusion techniques. Thus, a new method has been developed to characterize endogenous dopamine release in the rat brain and can be used on a time scale of seconds.

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